I have never been an advocate of traditional western medicine. I have never been one to reach for pharmaceuticals, my mom was always of the mind that when you go to the doctor, they find something wrong, and I have been much more inclined to healing and witchcraft, according to the ancient ways.
But, I have also never been one to negate the benefits of Western medicine entirely.
In the book A Hunter Gatherers Guide to the 21st-century, Dr. Bret Weinstein and Dr. Heather Heying note that modern medicine has brought us three marvels that have allowed humanity to thrive: antibiotics, vaccines, and surgery.
And I am inclined to agree. Both of my children are fully vaccinated, while we have never needed antibiotics, I am grateful for their existence, and I have had to cesarean sections, so I would be a fool to scoff at surgery.
Still, Western medicine has its problems, and this has come into sharp relief with the recent Covid vaccine debates.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will say my family and I have never received a Covid vaccine, we were in the “wait and see” category for several months after the vaccine initially rolled out, and then we got Covid, which the science shows it’s basically the same as getting the Covid vaccine.
So we just never got it.
Now, information is coming out that this vaccine is not as effective, by a long shot, as they originally told us it was.
I have had Covid twice now, about a year apart, and I choke now that I have the same immunity as somebody who got two Covid shots.
All of this comes down to a belief in the way science works, and the way science can go hand-in-hand with what I consider witchcraft. As a witch, I am always seeking natural medicine first and western medicine second, as a back up.
And because so many people are in a similar situation right now, confused as to where to turn for healing, I thought this would be an appropriate time to write up a quick piece on it.
What Is a Witch?
First, I want to clarify the term witch.
I don’t wear black lipstick, I don’t paint my fingernails black, I don’t wear Celtic crosses, dangling from silver chains on my neck and black lace and high-heeled chunky black boots.
Not that I have a problem with that aesthetic, of course. To each their own.
But I just want to clarify, but I am not the stereotypical witch from cartoons and goth movies.
If you saw me on the street, and you would probably just think of me as every other mom with her kids, perhaps, with a bit of a bohemian flare.
When I call myself a witch, I am referring to my inclination to trust in the universe, and its grand design and concert with my consciousness, to my proclivity, for working with energy, and to my close, personal relationship with nature, earth, and all of life herein.
I make teas, and tinctures, and I consider food medicine.
I do yoga, I meditate, and I believe there is a reason for everything, even if we may never understand that reason.
I am a firm believer in the law of attraction as a universal law, and in karma, what goes around, always comes back around.
It’s kind of boring really.
Do I practice magic? I would say yes. But that depends on your definition of magic.
What Is Witchcraft?
Again, there’s a lot of misconception around what witchcraft is, what magic is.
We like to think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire or The Witching Hour, or those teenagers on The Craft casting black magic.
While there are times when I think maybe magic did exist once upon a time in that telekinesis/X-Men kinda away, I honestly think in my soul of souls that magic has always been what it is now, a communication and relationship with the natural forces in the universe and on earth.
Witchcraft, in history and today, is a simple understanding of our intimate relationship with nature, of our consciousness in connection with higher consciousness, call it God, the universe, source energy, or again, just nature.
There is no black magic, dark magic, or even light magic. Magic is just the word we use when things happen and we don’t understand them.
When we say, we practice magic, or witchcraft, what we are saying is that we are learning to draw on our intuition, to trust what works our bodies, and to take an experimental approach to medicine and the healing arts.
The Healing Arts
When are the healing arts?
The healing arts have been practiced by societies around the earth since humans evolved into humans.
One of the earliest forms of healing arts is Ayurveda, from ancient Indian medicine, that has been around for thousands of years and that is still around today, and that’s actually now being studied and supported by science.
There are tons of practices from eastern medicine that have been hugely beneficial when incorporated into daily lives of people in the west.
We are also learning more about practices like traditional Tibetan medicine for healing.
Wim Hof has an entire philosophy around cold exposure and breath work to make humans more resilient, give us longevity, and improve our immune system.
The Earthing Institute has published several studies on the power of grounding, simply placing your bare feet on the bare earth, for long-term healing of chronic conditions.
From classic naturopathic to transcendental meditation, all of these practices are rooted in ancient medicine, and are part of the healing arts.
And at one point or another in history, these practices have been considered witchcraft.
Witches then, are simply ushering these ancient practices into modern times, and really smart witches are learning to connect those practices to modern day science, allowing for the necessary existence of both magic and science in the same space.
Again, there is great glory and western medicine. Anyone who has ever needed acute care cannot deny the benefits of the ambulance, the fire truck, or the emergency room, all staffed with people trained in Western medicine.
I recently slipped and fell, and broke my wrist at the YMCA, and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the paramedics, the emergency room doctor, and all the medical professionals there, and the surgeon who opened me up and realigned my bones, placing a plate inside my wrist to hold my bones together.
Mothers who are terrified through summers of polio outbreaks have attested to the seeming miracle of the polio vaccine. Smallpox was once a death sentence for small children. The vaccine changed that.
People who would once have died from a simple infection, can now take a round of antibiotics and go on, like nothing ever happened.
Yes, Western medicine is amazing.
But, from a witch’s perspective, it off and goes either too far, or not far enough.
Pharmaceutical companies and the doctors aligned with them push drugs on people that have side effects worse than the original illness.
Surgeries are performed often unnecessarily, even pushed on people. The WHO declared that a country should have about 10% of births be delivered by cesarean section.
The United States has more than 30%.
Then there’s the fact that doctors and nurses and physicians assistance simply are not trained in nutrition, and in the way that the body actually works, in root causes.
My surgeon was amazing. He did a great job. But he prescribed me an opioid, and told me to take ibuprofen and Tylenol for pain relief.
He also told me casually to elevate and ice my wrist.
There was no conversation about vitamin C, which is critical to healing, and my immune system, post surgery, no conversation about collagen, which will help repair my bones and the soft tissue, no conversation about vitamin E, which will help heal my skin and scarring, no conversation about Quercetin, which has been shown in multiple studies to be critical to strengthening bone, stimulating, bone formation, and bone mineral density.
And I have seen this kind of ignorance throughout Western medicine. And honestly, I don’t think it is the doctor’s fault.
Our medical professionals in this country are driven hard by a for-profit medical system, they are overwhelmed, under trained in what really matters, and burnt out.
So I don’t blame the doctors. I blame the system.
And we cannot change the system overnight. What we can do is take responsibility for our healing by relying more heavily on witchcraft, that is to say that healing arts.
Healing and Witchcraft
How do we do this?
We get really good at understanding our own bodies, we study, herbal medicine, we experiment with and experience nature.
We become, essentially, our own doctors.
And we learn to rely on Western medicine only in those three necessary categories: antibiotics, when necessary, surgery, when necessary, and vaccines, when tested and proven effective.